Last spring, I created a Mom-garden in memory of my mom, and I planted it full of her favorite summer flowers on Mother's Day. (You can read about it here.) The little garden grew and flourished , bringing me smiles and happy memories all summer long.
I've cleared the garden out for the season now, though. It's resting again until spring.
Earlier this fall, I ordered spring bulbs from White Flower Farm, and I've been . . . waiting . . . to plant them. The weather hasn't really been cooperating when it comes to bulb-planting this fall. Although we've had cool, wet weather, we haven't had a real frost yet -- let alone a freeze. So it's still a bit early to plant bulbs (but, surely, getting close).
Included in that bulb order? Mixed tulip bulbs -- for my Mom-garden. I don't usually plant tulips in my own garden. I love tulips -- but they tend to be a bit more hit-and-miss than most spring bulbs. The squirrels really love them, they don't naturalize well, and they perform best if you dig them up and replace them each season. Which is really too much work for me. . . So I tend to enjoy tulips in other people's gardens!
My mom LOVED tulips!
Late yesterday afternoon, I happened to glance out my kitchen window at the now-empty Mom-garden. It was bathed in sunlight. (In fact, it was the only spot in my garden still getting any of the quickly setting sunlight.)
The garden beckoned!
I grabbed my gardening stuff and headed out to plant my 30 tulip bulbs.
And while I was digging and planting and filling, I thought about my mom and her tulips. I remembered . . .
How she used to cut stems of spring tulips for me when I was a little girl, and then carefully wrap them in a wet napkin and a baggie so I could carry them to school to give my teacher.
How she planted tulips in her own gardens each fall -- with a variety of bloom times so there would be maximum tulip bloom throughout the spring.
How a couple of years ago, the two of us worked together on a very miserable-cold afternoon to plant bulbs for one of her neighbors who was struggling with a health issue and unable to plant her own bulbs. My mom wanted everyone to enjoy the magic of colorful tulips after a bleak winter.
How much she loved volunteering in the Tulip Time Festival Information booth each May in Holland -- tiptoeing through the tulips in her own wooden shoes!*
My memories made for a wonderful bulb-planting afternoon. It was almost like . . . gardening with my mom again.
(On a roll, I decided she would probably like some grape hyacinths, too.)
When I was finished planting, I packed up my stuff and turned to head back to my garage -- and was awestruck by the sun shining over my back gate -- looking down on me with warmth and light.
I'm thinking those tulips are going to be especially gorgeous next spring. Y'know?
* We donated my mom's Tulip Time costume to the folks who run the Information Booth, so it will continue to greet visitors to Holland's Tulip Time Festival each spring.